Case Study: The Impact of ZwitterCo Membranes at Solugen



Solugen, a leading biotech and clean technology company, has revolutionized the chemical industry through its innovative chemi-enzymatic processes. Their water-based chemical production is a significant departure from traditional petrochemical methods that rely on metal catalysts and solvents. To enhance their production efficiency and sustainability, Solugen partnered with ZwitterCo, an advanced membrane technology company.

The Challenge

Solugen’s unique process requires water-based systems that retain enzymes while filtering out other impurities. Before collaborating with ZwitterCo, Solugen used hollow fiber membranes that fouled quickly, leading to frequent replacements and increased operational costs. This method proved unsustainable and posed a significant challenge to their business model.

The ZwitterCo Membrane Solution

ZwitterCo specializes in advanced membrane technology using a unique zwitterionic copolymer chemistry. Their membranes are exceptionally hydrophilic, enabling them to attract water into their pores and reject proteins and organic matter effectively. These features make ZwitterCo membranes ideal for bioprocessing streams that rapidly foul other membranes, requiring hours of aggressive chemical cleaning and negatively impacting performance.

Switching to ZwitterCo’s technology brought about several key improvements:

1. Enhanced Efficiency: Solugen experienced over 100% improvement in cycle times after adopting ZwitterCo membranes.

2. Reduced Maintenance: Unlike traditional membranes that degrade within months, ZwitterCo membranes are robust and maintain performance over years. This drastically reduced the need for replacements, with Solugen estimating savings of over 400% in only nine months.

3. Streamlined Cleaning: The ZwitterCo membranes can be quickly and easily cleaned with a warm water flush, caustic wash, and water rinse. This process restores 95-100% of their original clean water flux.

4. Seamless Integration: The membranes were installed with minimal effort, allowing Solugen to incorporate them into their processes swiftly.


The partnership between Solugen and ZwitterCo demonstrates how collaboration and innovation can solve complex industrial challenges. With ZwitterCo’s advanced membrane technology, Solugen has transformed its operational efficiency, reduced costs, and ensured sustainability in its chemical production process. The collaboration continues to benefit both companies, with significant impacts on sustainability and efficiency in the industry.